"Cheese Gate" or Alternative School Lunches - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

"Cheese Gate" or Alternative School Lunches

TAZEWELL COUNTY (WVVA)- USDA has a regulation that states if a student doesn't have money they can't charge a meal. In Tazewell county that regulation just doesn't work. Their policy is no student will go home hungry.

This policy led to charged lunches and almost 8-thousand dollars in unpaid fees. Leaving Tazewell County with a debt to the USDA.

Food Services Manager George Godbey says he sent multiple letters home to parents owing money and got very little if any response. Leading to the enforcement of alternative school lunches.

How it works is if a student doesn't qualify for free or reduced lunches and forgets their money instead of being able to charge now they receive a cheese sandwich instead of the main entree a long with the other side options.

Some lunch ladies say they don't feel comfortable serving the alternative meal and have been fronting the money for their students.

While the controversy stirs. Godbey says they are seeing results. Parents are starting to pay and students are remembering their lunch money.


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